Travel Industry Exchange Guest blogger:
Daniela P. Harrison
Travel consultant, Avenues of the World and prominent speaker at Travel Industry Exchange on Millennial Travel and Multigenerational & Family Travel.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Networking
- Business Cards
Bring PLENTY of business cards. If you don’t have enough, take a picture of your card (front and back) and email it to the people you meet when you take their information. It only takes a second and ensures you won’t forget or get overwhelmed later. There’s nothing worse than attending a networking event and being the person without cards. It also helps to have your picture on your card. It helps others to put a face to your name and they are more likely to remember you at future events.
- Dress professional
You’re not just representing yourself, but also the company you work for. The press attends most industry events and there is always a photographer. Shine your shoes and present your best smile.
- Know your 30 sec sizzle
Be short, clear and concise. You’ll be meeting many people and it will be hard to keep track of who is who if you make many new acquaintances. Think about what you want people to remember about you and drive that point home.
- Set goals for the event
If you’re purely looking for new connections, set a goal to meet 5-10 new people each day. Maybe you’re trying to meet the press or meet a specific supplier. Make sure you follow through on that first and then mingle with your friends. If you’re a little on the shy side, ask your friends or suppliers you know to introduce you.
- Do some research on the event itself
Who is attending, who organized it, what is the event all about and what can you hope to take away from it. You want to make sure it’s worth your time and that you walk away with something new you learned.
- Follow up afterwards
Thank the organizers for all their hard work – you should always do this!
Send an email to your new contacts, thanking them for meeting you and ask to stay in touch.
Connect with your new friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc…
- If it’s sit down situation…
Take notes on what’s being discussed and who is talking. Much easier to follow up this way if you have questions and allows you to scan through your meeting if there is a Q&A at the end.
- With important new contacts take a picture of them and their business card. It will help you to remember them for future events and when you program their contact into your phone you already have a picture you can associate.
- Most importantly, don’t be shy
You’re attending a networking event to meet new people. Yes, that requires you to step out of your shell and be brave. It takes guts to walk through a room of strangers and forming a conversation out of thin air. Just remember, everybody is there for the same reason. People are excited to meet you and want to get to know you. So take a deep breath and go for it…!